Wednesday, 20 October 2010 00:09

Do You Know the Five Feng Shui Elements?

Written by Angela S Colley
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As we recall from my previous post, How to Start Prosperity Flowing in a Home, Feng Shui (fung-SHWAY) is an ancient Chinese art used to create positive energy in any space. By considering a Feng Shui bagua (bā guà) map with the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water), we can see how they relate to each other. Each element has its own energy. If your space feels out of sorts do you know how to pull it together to make it feel comfortable?  Do you know how art affects your space? Are you using the right furniture? By examining your bagua map with the five elements, you can make adjustments to create the required chi.

The Elements
Fire – Fire creates energy, passion and excitement, and activates leadership qualities. Too much fire stimulates or amplifies aggression, impatience and impulsive behavior. Too little fire promotes emotional darkness or coldness. Red, orange, magenta, maroon and bright yellow colors represent fire. Triangular, pointed, pyramids, cone and jagged irregular shapes symbolize fire. Fire elements include flames, candles, fireplaces, lights, electricity, natural sunlight, items from animals (fur, suede, leather, bone, feathers, and silk wool), pets, art portraying people or animals, and art depicting sunshine, fire or other illumination. As fire relates to the other elements, fire creates earth, melts metal, evaporates water and burns wood.


Water - Water is the refreshing element; it enhances spirituality, inspiration, relaxation and energy flow. Water that flows freely brings energy, good fortune, purity and refreshment. Too much water diminishes productivity; too little water increases anxiety, competition, pettiness and cynicism. Black and blue are colors for water. Meandering and smooth irregular shapes, reflective surfaces like cut crystal, glass, mirrors, and art portraying bodies of water, stand for water. As water relates to the other elements, it nourishes wood, extinguishes fire, washes away earth and depletes metal.

Earth – Earth enhances physical strength, sensuality, order, practicality, stability and security. Too much presence of the earth element creates a heavy, serious or conservative atmosphere. Too little promotes instability, clutter and chaos. Colors that signify earth include earth tones, browns, beiges (safe colors) and light yellow. Earth shapes are square and rectangular. Items that symbolize earth include adobe, brick, tile, ceramic objects, vases, and earthenware objects, art portraying earthy landscapes with deserts or fertile fields. When comparing earth to the other elements, earth creates metal, blocks water, impedes wood and exhaust fire.

water wall

Metal – Metal enhances mental sharpness and self-determination. If you want well-defined quality work, introduce metal. Too much metal creates stubbornness and the failure to compromise. Too little metal promotes indecision, procrastination and disorder. Metal examples include stainless steel, copper, brass, iron, silver, aluminum and gold. Colors that symbolize metal include white and light pastel colors. Shapes are round, oval and arched. Cement, rocks, stones (marble, granite and flagstone), natural crystals, gemstones, art and sculpture made from metal and stone represent metal. Metal holds water; it chops wood, weakens fire and depletes earth.

Wood – Wood develops intuition, creativity, flexibility and expansion from upward, growing energy. Too much wood can create a sense of over-commitment. Too little wood in a space can stop growth and hinder intuitive and creative energy. Shapes that represent wood include columns, rectangles, vertical stripes; colors are brown, blue and all shades of green. The wood element brings health to the body. Wood elements also include wooden furniture, all plants and flowers, plant based cloth and textiles, floral upholstery, wall coverings, draperies and linens, landscape with gardens, plants and flowers, and paper.  As wood relates to the other elements, it feeds fire, disturbs earth, dulls metal and absorbs water.


All five Feng Shui elements serve a unique purpose. When all elements are present, they work together to create harmony. Remember:  water sustains wood; wood feeds fire; fire creates earth; earth creates metal; and metal holds water.

Read 5777 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 20:30



Angela S Colley, ASID|CAPS

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